tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 20, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
. german police say a truck driver deliberately slammed into a christmas market killing 12 people. in aleppo, turkey police search for answers after russia's ambassador to turkey is killed. hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster and this is "cnn newsroom." ♪ following several big stories for you, this our first
in berlin. police say monday's deadly truck crash in a packed christmas market is a presumed terrorist attack. they believe the truck was deliberately steered into the crowd. 12 people killed, 48 injured. we warn you the images you are about to see are disturbing. this is cellphone video moments after the truck crashed through the market. one ma is in custody and being questioned, another man, a polish citizen, was found dead inside the truck cab. officials say it is too soon to draw any conclusions about what happened there. >> translator: our free society needs us to be open and celebrate christmas as the festival of the family, happiness. this has been destroyed here today. i caution everyone not to jump to conclusions or change our way of life. >> well, the crash happened in a central square in western berlin near an historic church memorial. this is the 33rd year of the christmas market at that site.
first responder describe what they saw when they arrived at the chaotic scene. >> translator: the whole atmosphere was shocking, even for our own people. for them it was also very hard. they arrived at a place where everyone needed help, but in the initial phase when we had a few people there it was impossible to help everyone immediately. that is why we asked for help from volunteer firemen and we have therapists helping our own people, looking after them, and we have brought in volunteer firemen so we are able to continue working. jillian whitefeld joins me live from berlin. this is now being headed by the national authorities, so a very serious incident indeed. >> yes, the authorities that are responsible for acts of terrorism just took over the investigation about 30 minutes ago, which is a clear indication that they think that the person they have in custody is the
actual perpetrator of this attack last night. they now say that they think he drove the truck into the crowd deliberately, so everything now indicates this is a terrorist attack following the scenario we have seen in nice earlier this year. >> when do you expect more details on what the motive might have been? >> well, so far the investigators are very careful with releasing any kind of details because from what we understand there's still an ongoing investigation. there was a raid at the former berlin temple which is now a refugee home just a few hours ago. this is where the man who we heard, this 23 years old, and from what we know now pakistani background has been living for the past year since coming to germany. so they are still looking into possible links with maybe other people here in town or anywhere else. so they're very careful with releasing this.
also possibly be careful with releasing this information because, obviously, the whole refugee debate has been a very heated debate in germany, and releasing any consolidated information about the background, possible ethnic background of the attacker, him coming to germany as a refugee would have huge political implications. the investigators want to get it right before releasing anything to the media. >> angela merkel will want to be sure of the information as well, won't she? is that why we haven't heard much from her yet? >> absolutely. she will only address the public when she is 100% sure about who has done this and what his background, how that person has come to germany, if there are any possible links. so far what we're seeing is she is following kind of a hands-off approach. she has been briefed obviously
over time but she is leaving public statements to her minister of the interior who is responsible for the authorities that are investigating acts of terrorism. >> so the investigation continues, and they are potentially carrying out extra raise as you suggested there. but they don't think there's a wider threat, people aren't being told to stay indoors anymore? >> well, from what we have seen in the past is that even those people who seem self-radicalized, who seem to be what is called lone wolves in the public, always have some sort of link to a wider network, always have been in communication with a wider network, either inspiring them or leading them or instructing them. we have seen this kind of activity in germany in the past months, very concrete instructions coming out of radical, in this case islamist groups, to sympathizers here in germany. so there's is nothing that
indicates an attack that would still be ongoing, that there's still someone out there trying to commit another act of terrorism, but there are -- telling from experience in most cases some sort of network structures behind this, and this is what investigators are still looking at, not an actual threat on the ground. >> okay, julian, thank you for your time. a very busy day for you. thank you for joining us. shandanna duranni was there and described what she saw to john vause earlier. >> it actually looked like he jumped the curb and was going out of control, lost control of the truck and swerved into the crowded market. it came -- it went so fast and it sort of jumped the curb and went side ways from where i was at, and people just started running and dropping their christmas tradition item here at the market and started screaming
and running things in german. i'm an american and i have only lived here three months so i don't know much german but i knew enough to run, and i just ran in the other direction. and there's not much cover in these markets, so there's really no place to run. you sort of have to hide behind a stall or, you know, just keep running, and i heard some popping and i thought maybe there's a guy with a gun. you know, we see it a lot in america with these people going on a rampage with guns, so i just tried to duck and cover and hid behind a stall with a bunch of other people until we thought it was safe to come out. >> do you remember seeing much security at the market before the truck went into the crowd? >> there's always security around these markets and around berlin. they're not as obvious as what you see in the u.s. with the guys in the army fatigues and the guns. they're kind of a little, you know, hidden. they're not so obvious, but
they're always there and they're always looking around. but this is a very, very free society. it is very open society, so it is not like it is in your face so people can come and go as they please, which they like to do at the christmas markets because it is, like your previous correspondent said, it is a tradition here in germany and people really, really love christmas here in germany. >> do you remember how long all of this lasted before the truck actually stopped? >> it felt like ten -- it felt like ten hours but it was probably like ten seconds. i was texting on my phone and i had stopped to respond to a text, and if i hadn't of responded i probably might have -- i might have been hit because it was only 20 feet away at that time. i looked up and people just started running and scurrying and screaming, and i saw this big -- you know, looked like a gigantic u.p.s. truck coming towards us and i just ran. it probably didn't last very
long, but it felt like i was in slow motion trying to get away from it. very surreal. >> just one of the eyewitnesses there, the asia pacific foundation joins me now in london. what is shocking is that, you know, the lack of shock really about what happened here. this is exactly the sort of attack the intelligence agencies were talking about and preparing for. very much so. i'm afraid they were warning us. they were concerned that the christmas period would result in a spate of plots. there was heightened activity, electronic chatter. i guess it still is disturbing because of the fact when you see a vehicle being turned into a lethal weapon, mowing people down, everyone brings the similarity to the nice attacks on the 14th of july of this year. but there have been a number of other plots involving vehicles which thankfully the authorities have disrupted, but unfortunately they have to be lucky all the time, the terrorist needs to be lucky once, and when it happens it is
devastation. >> i remember being in nice and a lot of the witnesses caught off guard because they assume that this is a truck out of control or is some sort of delivery truck. so they allow it to continue its path because it just doesn't look like an attack at first sight. >> it took many people off guard. keep in mind the nice attack was on bastille day, so there was heightened security but nevertheless an instance deent like that is surreal. the vehicle in nice drove 1.7 kilometers and killed 86 people, injuring hundreds. we can see it gives inspiration to other individuals, because one attack that's successful can be used by other people that may be guided by a terrorist group or so-called lone wolves. >> realistically you can't protect each event to the extent that would be required to stop an attack like that, it would be completely unaffordable, so it has to rely on intelligence, right? >> counter terrorism is very
much intelligence led. perhaps arguably there could be more measures to use barriers, heavy concrete around, say, marketplaces to stop vehicles from entering. keep in mind, there have been plots in germany to target people with weapons and also as a path. the individual who carries the tabbing on the train earlier this year, german authorities discovered his intention was actually to use a car to mow people down. the only reason it didn't happen was because he didn't have a driver's license. just recently last week a 12-year-old was arrested in germany with the intention of targeting a christmas marketplace. so there's a lot of activity going on in germany and the authorities are keeping track with intelligence, but they can't disrupt every plot. >> if people stop going to this events, the terrorists have won, haven't they? >> the goal of terrorism is to kill and maim, the second goal is to cause disruption, to change our way of life, to alter the way we think and feel about our security. it is important that doesn't
happen, because if they can have that psychological impact then very much it feeds into theirtive they can control, influence and intimidate people. if more incidents like this happen after berlin, and i fear it is not necessarily an isolated incident, maybe we will see more problems emerge. >> thanks for joining us. we will speak to you again later. meanwhile, turkish police arrested a man who fired several shots outside in ankara. this happened in the same neighborhood where russia's ambassador to turkey was killed on monday. the u.s. has closed its embassy and consulates in turkey on tuesday. swiss police are looking for a man who hopped fire on worshippers in zurich. three men were wounded. a body was found nearby, but authorities haven't said it was related. still to come, more on the russian ambassador to turkey's
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assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey will not undermine their diplomatic relations. the shooting was caught on video. we're going to play it and you may find it graphic and disturbing. >> that shooter has been identified as a police officer. the 22-year-old turk shot ambassador andrei karlov at an art exhibition in ankara. he shouted do not forget aleppo and allahu akbar. ma thoo chance in moss co. nick, we will start with you. in terms of the developments overnight, what more have you learned? >> well, security in this area has been tight. the u.s. embassy is not far from here and a gunman was outside the u.s. embassy last night. he pulled a shotgun from under his jacket and started shooting in the air. he fired seven or eight shots in the air.
he was arrested and taken away. so far that leaves five other people that have been arrested in connection with the shooting of the russian ambassador. the gunman's mother, father, sister and also the person he shared an apartment with is who this policeman, the attacker shared an apartment with, have been arrested. the other things that have been happening, more sort of political, diplomatic, president erdogan talking to president putin in russia. they're both on the same page about a joint investigation. president erdogan is saying this was an action that was aimed to try to sort of divide the two countries as they're normalizing their relationships. this is what he said. >> translator: i describe this attack on russia's embassy as an attack to turkey, turkey's state and nation. after the incident, attack on the russian ambassador, during the talk with mur putin we
agreed this is a provocation and there isn't any dispute. >> reporter: so a provocation, a provocation to undermine the sort of the unity that they were building, remembering that just over the past few weeks they've been working together, russia and turkey, to help bring a ceasefire. it was a very fragile ceasefire that broke down in aleppo, but to get all of the civilians out of aleppo. it was president erdogan talking to president putin that helped build that ceasefire. max. >> is there any indication that he was working as part of a group or whether this was a personal grievance? >> reporter: there are rumors circulating, but they're only rumors. certainly the mayor of this city is speculating about his ties to -- ties to the group that this government alleges was behind the coup in the summer, but there's absolutely, absolutely no evidence that's
been presented for that so far. some newspapers reporting it nevertheless, but in substance we have nothing more to go on, and those arrests that the government has made of family members are quite normal in this circumstance. what president putin has said is that whoever is behind it, we must get to those who are behind it. so this joint investigation, the russian team due to arrive here today, the turkish investigative team, and that one would imagine would be a very first line of investigation. potentially the man, the gunman shared an apartment with, potentially there may be insights coming from there but no concrete information is being made available publicly so far at least on what the government is learning about motivations. >> okay. nick, thank you. mathew in moscow, clearly russia and turkey standing shoulder-to-shoulder on this one. they're very clear to show that
this is not going to create d divisiveness between the two nations. >> reporter: yes. as nick was saying president erdogan said president putin came out with a stern face on television and called it a despicable act. he said it was intended to undermine the relationship between russia and turkey, a relationship which has been improving steadily in the past several months since they decided to rebuild ties following the downing in november of last year of a russian war plane by turkish interceptors. vladimir putin said there can only be one response, stepping up the fight against terrorism, the bandit goes he said must feel it happening. we must know who directed the hand, and he instructed members of his intelligence to work with the turks to get to the bottom of this and to work out whether the guy who carried out the
assassination was working on his own or part of -- affiliated with some bigger group. what we have to bear in mind, of course, as the backdrop to all of this is that russia and turkey are on opposite sides in the syria war which is raging next door. russia supports the government of bashar al assad, turkey supports rebel groups fighting assad. there's a lot of people inside turkey sympathetic to the turkish position inside syria. there have been protests outside the russian consulate in istanbul in the last days and week goes. clearly there's a lot of animosity in the turkish population to what russia has been doing inside syria, and this appears to be the latest expression of that. >> how then might this affect the operations of both turkey and russia in syria, do you think, or will this just be kept as a separate issue? >> reporter: well, it is not
going to affect the russian operations, i can probably, you know, guess at that. if anything, it is going to reinforce the justification that russia has for being inside syria. all along it said it was supporting bashar al assad, it was bombing rebels in syria to prevent the spread of islamic terrorism. it sees this as a threat not just to its own national security but to international security as well, and has tried very much to bring in other countries to that way of thinking, not least of which is the united states. up until now that's been -- that's been resisted by the u.s. that might change under donald trump. in terms of what the turkish position may be, well, already there are suspicions within rebel groups inside syria the turks are softening their position towards them and moving more towards a russian point of view when it come to syria. the turkish foreign minister is in russia today and will be discussing how to proceed in
syria. there are lots of talks under way between the various great powers or is various powers engaged in that conflict. >> okay. mathew in moss co, nick in ankara, thank you very much. evacuations from eastern aleppo say 4500 more civilians waiting in freezing temperatures with almost no food. the process has been suspended multiple times this week. in exchange, syria and iran demand they be evacuated. opposition fighters have been holding those towns. the u.n. has been able to get medical aid and food into eastern aleppo at last, but they say more is needed. the u.s. security council has unanimously approved sending u.n. staff to monitor evacuations. france proposed a resolution which demand that the u.n. is given access to deliver aid and food. after the vote the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. explained why observers are needed.
syrian representative voiced his disapproval. >> translator: with that presence there may be some deterrence of what happens along the journey out of eastern aleppo, and there -- even if people are fortunate enough to as they see it get on buses, we have seen people pulled off buses, their valuables stolen, and of course many reports of men and people in the fighting age range being either detained, forced to the front lines or never heard from again. >> on presenting and adopting such resolution is just another part of the continued propaganda against syria in its fight against terrorists. why we respect the security council resolutions, we are aware of the repurpose of their efforts which is to protect the
terrorists. well, turkey says a total of 20,000 people have now been evacuated from eastern aleppo. the head of the international monetary fund has been found guilty of negligence but she won't be punished or lose her job. a french court ruled her out of court settlement back in 2008 wasn't negligence, but failing to fight the award to him was. after the verdict the i.m.s. executive board restated support for her. next we go back to berlin for the latest on the deadly attack on one of the city's christmas markets. it is not the first time a truck has been used as a weapon this year of course. a look ahead at why terror groups are pushing these times of attacks. plus, donald trump says these violent attacks are only getting worse and something must be done. more from the u.s. president-elect coming up as "cnn newsroom" continues from london. generosity is its own form of power.
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♪ in the united states and around the world, i'm max foster live from london. it is half past 9:00 in the morning in berlin where police say monday's deadly truck crash at a packed christmas market is a presumed terrorist attack. authorities have just towed away the cab of the truck from the scene. 12 people killed, 48 others were hurt when the driver plowed through the crowd. one man is in custody, another, a polish citizen, was found dead inside the truck's cab. turkey and russia say the assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey is a clear provocation. a police officer shot andrei karlov at an art gallery in ankara. both countries say the attack won't hurt their relationship.
the u.n. security council agreed to send evacuation monitors to eastern aleppo. turkey says 4500 more civilians have been rescued. many more people are still trapped in freezing temperatures with almost no food. the attack on the berlin christmas market is especially alarming because the weapon was something almost anyone could use, which is a truck. this tactic we are seeing more often as cnn's tom foreman reports. >> reporter: 86 people dead, more than 400 injured. the attack in nice, france five months ago proved how deadly a big vehicle can be. in that case it was a huge, rented truck traveling close to 60 miles an hour, plowing through holiday revellers. >> i had a choice to jump to my right or jump to my left because the truck was swerving, so i had to make a decision which way to jump. i decided to jump to my left, and thank god i did because if i
didn't i would have been dead. >> reporter: purposeful attacks using vehicles have happened plenty in recent years. at the university of north carolina in 2016 a man rams his suv into a crowd. luckily no one dies. but in the netherlands in 2009 a car slams into a parade and eight people are left dead. in canada in 2014, a pair of soldiers are run down in a parking lot and one dies. that same year in israel a driver veers off the road and steps on the gas to hit people waiting for a train. two were killed. and in france, a pair of incidents, one right after the other, leaves 20 people injured and one dead. in each case questions of terrorism were raised, and the prevalence of such attacks prompted homeland security to issue this warning during the holiday season a half dozen years ago. vehicle ramming offers terrorists with limited access to explosives or weapon an
opportunity to conduct an attack with minimal prior training. among the warning signs, vehicles reinforced with homemade metal plates on the front and large trucks in heavily traffic pedestrian areas at unusual times, especially if they're driving erratically. still, just last months it happened again at ohio state a young man ran into a crowd with his car before he was shot by a police officer and became the only fatality that day. >> there is plenty of available evidence to indicate that this individual may have been motivated by extremism and may have been motivated by a desire to carry out an act of terrorism. >> reporter: the simplicity and effectiveness of these attacks are clearly why terrorist groups keep pushing them on the internet, knowing that all it takes is one radical to get one started and yet it requires a whole lot more resources to detect such a plan or stop it. >> authorities believe the truck in the christmas market attack
was driven across the border from berlin. dominic thomas joins me. he chairs a department at ucla. what is depressing about this is that it is the sort of attack everyone was suspecting within the police, within security services, within government. there's little you can do to protect these crowded places. >> reporter: right, that's what is so absolutely staggering about this, is thats 'been a major conversation part both here and well-known internationally that these markets that attract tourists from all over the world and a significant number of germans from local areas come in to enjoy these markets during the months of november and december. and what is so remarkable about it is the relative absence of security, of reinforcement around the market areas that are extraordinarily vulnerable to these kinds of lone attacks.
>> how then does the government -- angela merkel is going to have to come out and reassure people, isn't she? but also politicians around europe and north america have to do the same. people in london are talking about concerns getting on the transport system. how do you reassure people they are protected and at the same time not succumb to the fear the terrorists are instilling in society? >> right, you're absolutely right. this is the fundamental contradiction that european leaders are facing today, particularly given the rise of populist political parties that have been exploiting precisely these kinds of questions around the issues of the migrants crisis, the refugee crisis, the place of islam in europe and these kind of questions. what we absolutely need at this moment are reassuring voices and the measured response and conversation about the implications of this so that the german people can weigh in and determine what sort of society
do they want to live in. one of the issues here is that i think many berliners are uncomfortable with the high visibility and presence of security and that although the security services have been monitoring the situation and inspecting these kinds of areas, people are simply not wanting to see the sorts of emergency status we see around france today and in other parts of europe. but certainly these markets were incredibly vulnerable to these sorts of attacks. >> doesn't it come down to intelligence sharing primarily though? because once someone highjacks a truck and starts driving it towards a crowd, you know, there's a limited amount that the local police can do. >> right. you're absolutely right. i think it is almost impossible to completely protect these areas. this is precisely the problem, is that the impact of these kind of lone attacks or these sort of lone attacks are sort of absolutely tremendous, whether they are inspired by terror
groups or sponsored by terror groups, and we have yet to see that kind of event take place. they prove to be incredibly devisive, and i think ultimately no matter how sophisticated, how coordinated the security and intelligence services are there's almost nothing they can do to prevent this kind of attack. >> how do you think angela merkel can handle this? because she is vested obviously in the issue. she's been criticized about her acceptance of refugees into the country, and that inevitably is part of the debate today. what can she do to secure her position and leadership in the country? >> well, she is very aware of the fact of how important these issues are. we certainly have seen it recently in the united states, and there's been much discussion around the constitutional and referendum in italy, the elections in austria, and we also know there are big elections coming up in france next year in which the far right are using these kind of
questions. angela markel has already made several concessions, talking about the fact she was unprepared for the migrant crisis of the summer of 2015, that she would like to do things differently. she made a statement about ten days ago about potentially seeking to ban the wearing of the full-face veil in german society. she understands these issues are polarize ing. i'm just not sure it will be easy to shape the debate in a way that promotes understanding and comprehension of these kind of problems in the face of the rising interest in parties like the afd, the alternative for germany, that is doing everything it can to capitalize on this kind of discussion and security-base discourse to mobilize an electorate going into 2017. >> okay, dominic thomas, thank you for joining us from there in berlin. we do await angela merkel's comments on this. she is obviously trying to get all of the facts she can together before she does that. meanwhile, search teams have been looking for the missing malaysia airlines flight, 370.
but in the wrong place it seems. that's the conclusion of a new report from the australian government which says there are -- there's a 95% likelihood the plane isn't in the current search area. it's been almost two years since malaysian airline 370 vanished during a flight to beijing. cnn's matt rivers joins me from beijing with more. this is what many of the family members suspected all along. absolutely depressing news for them to hear. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, even if though it is perhaps not surprising news for them to hear because investigators have been increasingly pessimistic, logically so as this search area of 120,000 square of capitol ters was gone through piece by piece and the plane was not said. investigators have said they're not hopeful the plane will be found in this particular area. 110 of the 120,000 square
kilometers that was originally designated has been searched so far. what is really new in this report however is that these investigators in this report are saying that there should be a new area searched that is about 25,000 square kilometers in size, actually northeast of the original search area. they say that given the current evidence that they have they believe that that area is the last possible place that they can determine using the evidence that is currently in hand, that's the last possible place this plane could be. but, max, you mentioned the families right off the top. many of them have been frustrated, and frustrated is not even a strong enough word for years now as the search has gone on. we reached out to several chinese family who had people on board that plane that has been missing for so long now. i would like to read some of their stamts. one person, his 73-year-old mother was on the plane and he told us that i am glad that they finally realized their mistakes. i hope all governments could give us more information and be
more transparent. i hope they will be more scientific on their estimate. another person, her 27-year-old son was on board and she said that they, meaning the investigators, have no idea how much they've hurt the families of those on board. they've been stringing us along all this time. it is a waste of our time and emotions to follow their search. following their cherch can, there may not be a search to follow much longer because even though the report suggests searching a new area, the australian government said the search will end likely in january or february of next year if no clear cut evidence is found that shows exactly where this plane is. the search is likely going to end fairly soon, max. >> okay. max in beijing, thank you. china has returned a u.s. under water zone days after it seized the device. they say it was completed with friendly consultation between the two nations. u.s. says it is still investigating the incident. u.s. president-elect takes to
i'm max foster live from london. top story right now is that police in berlin are investigating the truck crash at a christmas market as an act of terrorism. 12 people were skilled and four dozen are injured. the truckh a polish plates and a passenger found dead inside the truck cab was a polish citizen. police arrested a man near the crash site. the u.s. president-elect donald trump is speaking about the latest attacks in europe. he tweeted on monday, today, there were terror attacks in turkey, switzerland and germany and it is only getting worse. the civilized world must change thinking. in a separate statement issued on his behalf, he said innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the christmas holiday. isis and other islamic
terrorists continue to slaughter christians in their communities as part of their global jihad. our senior lecturer in international relations at the university -- the university of london. it is interesting seeing his statement come out. he was talking about terrorism before the germans were. >> exactly. he moved very quickly, not only to talk about terrorism but importantly to talk about islam, islamic terrorism and isis to name it, which of course is not what we see from other leaders, not only germany but president obama, really holding back as you would expect and waiting to see what the investigation reveals and what information comes out. this sort of plays into the narrative we saw donald trump constructing throughout his campaign, which was that the u.s., you know, the dominant threat would be radical islamic terrorism. it is a very quick move i think into that sort of narrative. >> and talking about it as an attack on christians, that is
quite simplistic. it was a christmas market, maybe there was some symbolism in there. >> exactly. >> but you and i know these are events enjoyed by everyone, a cultural thing as much as a religious thing. >> yeah, and, again, it plays into this sort of turn toward sectarianism, which i think is dangerous until there's more known, and even when there is more known to sort of frame it in the language of islam and christianity is a really quick move. i think it is not -- it is a suggestion that he's moving very differently from the way that j germany is moving. of course, that creates some problems potentially for cooperation on anti-terrorism with europe. >> there are some concerns about the initial statement, but then you have the tweet that follows up. the statement is more formal, clearly worked out with other people. his tweet is much more his language, right? >> yeah. >> but what do you think about the fact he is issuing a statement followed by a tweet, which is clearly directly from him? >> i think this is more of what
we're seeing, that donald trump is demonstrating he is going to be his own man when it comes to voicing and articulating u.s. foreign policy and u.s. responses. the tweet is informal, it doesn't appear to have been monitored. it talks about needing a new approach. the civilized world needs a new approach, but obviously no real thinking behind what that's likely to be. but i think that there is some real concern that this is going to be a very different presidency in which we're getting a lot of information that's unfiltered and not as reflective as we're used to seeing in the past. >> and you will be analyzing it. >> and will be analyzing twitter. >> thank you very much, indeed. it is official, the electoral college has confirmed donald trump as president-elect of the united states. we will have trump aels reaction that coming up on "cnn newsroom" live from london. are on the best network.t ds with no surprise overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use. and right now get four lines and 20 gigs for only $40 per line.
after one of the most die advicive elections in u.s. history is now official, the electoral college confirmed donald trump as the president-elect of the united states. his critics didn't take the news sitting down. sara murray reports. >> reporter: with a dash of last-minute drama -- >> the votes are ten votes, donald j. trump. >> you sold out our country!
>> reporter: the electoral college is making it official today, sealing donald trump's victory as he prepares to head to the white house. trump critics making a final stand, protesters aired their grievances at state capitals. a few electors attempted to vote for candidates besides trump, and former president bill clinton, an election tore in new york, la meanted the, quote, bogus e-mail deal and the hurdles hillary clinton couldn't overcome in his bid for the presidency. >> she fought through everything and prevailed against it all but at the end we had the russians and the fbi deal which she couldn't prevail against that. she did everything else and still won by 2.8 million droets. >> reporter: trump appearing to take the final snubs personally tweeting sunday, if my many spoete spo supporters were acting like those who lost, they would be
called name. some are hoping the president-elect will adopt a tougher tone. republicans like senator mccain expressing alarm about russia's attempt to meddle in the u.s. election. >> this is serious business. if they're able to harm the electoral process, then they destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections. >> reporter: trump's top aides continue shrugging aside u.s. intelligence agencies' assessment that russia interfered, insisting they need more proof. >> i think he would accept the conclusion if these intelligence professionals would get together, put out a report, show the american people that they're actually on the same page. >> reporter: trump's soft approach with russia -- >> i would treat vladimir putin firmly, but there's nothing i can think of that i would rather do than have russia friendly. >> reporter: a sharp split with his dealings with other countries. that rift on full display this weekend as trump admonished
china for seizing a u.s. underwater drone. trump tweeting, china steals a u.s. drone out of the water and adding later, we should tell china we don't want the drone they stole back. let them keep it. meanwhile, he is pouring over candidates for administration slots in a series of meetings at his mar-a-lago, announcing vincent viola as pick for army secretaries. >> sarpa murray reporting there. u.s. first lady michelle obama leaving the white house on a high note. her favor ability rating higher than her husband, 72% according to pugh research. if you expect her to go into politics, you will be waiting a long time it seems. >> would you ever run for office? >> no, no. >> i have to ask you. >> no. >> no kind of office? >> no. look, that's one thing i don't do. i don't make stuff up, i'm not
coy. i have proven that. i'm pretty direct. if i were interested in it, i would say it. i don't believe in playing games, you know. it is not something i would do. >> well, mrs. obama has said she would like to see the american public free from partisan. thanks for joining us. i'm maxwell. thanks for joining us. i will be back for another edition of "cnn newsroom" after edition of "cnn newsroom" after this short break. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com . .
terror in berlin. a man in custody right now after a big truck plows into a crowd killing at least 12 people and injuring many more. russian ambassador assassinated in turkey. the killing could be linked to syria civil war. and breaking overnight. the under water drone seized by china is back in american hands. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm miguel marquez. it is december 20th. 4:00 a.m. in the east. authorities are questioninghe